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SAMUEL, BOOKS OF

with the fame of his great contemporary Rab (Abba. Araka q.v.). Besides his mastery in the traditional Law, which added much to the growing reputation of the Rabbinic Academy of his native town, Samuel was famed for his scientinc attainments. In particular his knowledge of astronomy was profound, and he was one of the first to compile a Calendar of the Jewish year, thus preparing the way for the fixation of the festivals by means of scientific calculations. But Samuel's fame rests on the service which he rendered in adapting the life of the Jews of the diaspora to the law of the land. “ The law of the State is binding law, ” was the principle which Samuel enunciated, here carrying to its logical outcome the admonition of Jeremiah. When the king of Persia, Shapur, captured Mazaca-Caesarea, the Cappadocian capital, Samuel refused to mourn for the 12,000 Jews who lost their lives in its defence. As Graetz says: “ To Jeremiah and Mar Samuel Judaism owes the possibility of existence in a foreign country.”

See Graetz, History of the Jews (English translation), vol. ii. ch. xix. (I. A.)


SAMUEL, BOOKS OF, two books of the Old Testament, which in the Jewish canon are ranked among the Former Prophets (Joshua-Kings), in contrast to the Latter Prophets 302:11 (Isaiah-Malachi). The division into two (like the two w, ,, e, ,¢s Hebrew books of Kings) follows the Septuagint and the Vulgate, whose four books of “kingdoms ” correspond to the Hebrew books of Samuel and Kings. Both Samuel and Kings, like Judges, are made up of a series of extracts and abstracts from various sources, worked over from time to time by successive editors, and freely handled by copyists down to a comparatively late date, as is shown by the numerous and often important variations between the Hebrew text and the Greek version (Septuagint). The main redaction of Judges and Kings was made under the influence of the ideas which characterize Deuteronomy, that is, after the reforms ascribed to Josiah (2 Kings xxiii.); but in Samuel the “ Deuteronomistic ” hand is much less prominent and the chronological system which runs through Judges and Kings occurs only sporadically. The book of Samuel completes the history of the “ judges ” of Israel, (11th century B.C.), and begins by relating the events which led to the institution of the monarchy under Saul, the part played by Samuel being especially prominent (1 Sam. i.-xiv.). The interest is then transferred to David, the founder of the Judaean dynasty, and his early life is narrated with great wealth of detail. As Saul loses the divine favour, David's position advances until, after the death of Saul and the overthrow of Israel, he gains the allegiance of a disorganized people (1 Sam. xv.-2 Sam. iv.), and Jerusalem becomes the centre of his empire (v.-viii.) -c. 1000 B.C. A more connected narrative is now given of the history of David (ix.-xx.), which is separated from the account of his death and Solomon's accession (1 Kings i. ii.) by an appendix of miscellaneous contents (xxi.-xxiv.). Three lines of interest are to be recognized: (0) that naturally taken by Israel (the northern kingdom) in the history of its first king, Saul; (b) the leading position of the prophets in the political and religious events; and (c) the superiority of the Judaean dynasty, a feature of paramount importance in the study of a book which has come ultimately through Judaean hands. (On the ambiguity of the name “ Israel, ” see Jnws, § 5.)

Proof of the diversity of sources is found in the var ing character of the narratives (historical, romantic, &c.); in the different literary styles (annalistic, detailed and vivid, Deuteronomic); in the representation of different standpoints and tastes; in the concluding summaries, 1 Sam. xiv. 47-51 compared with xv., 2 Sam. viii. compared with x.; in the double lists in 2 Sam. viii. 15-18, xx. 23-26, &c. The religious views are so varied that a single writer or even a single age cannot be postulated; note especially 1 Sam. xv. 22 seq. contrasted with the use of teraphim in xix. 13, and the different conceptions of Yahweh (1 Sam. xii. 21 seq., xv. 22 and xxvi. 19, &c.).1 1 It is of course necessary to note carefully whether the religious ideas have any real chronological value. Thus, 1 Sam. xvii. 36, 46 seq. contain ideas of Yahweh characteristic of exilic and post-exilic writings (see T. K. Cheyne, Ency. Bib. col. 1755), but no proof of an early date is furnished by xxvi. 19b (cf. Ruth i. 16, 1 Kings xx. 23, 2 Kin s xvii. 26 seq.); or 2 Sam. xxiv. 1 (cf. 1 Kings xxii. 20, Ezek. xlv- 9§ , Or 2 Sam. xxi. I (note drought as the punishment for not Unsystematic additions appear to have been made from time to time on a considerable scale, and we not seldom find two accounts of the same events which not only differ in detail but are certainly of very different date. Thus, the saying “ Is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Sam. x. 12) finds another explanation in xix. 18-24, where Samuel holds a new position as head of a community of gophets and the words are adapted to an incident in the history of avid, who flees north (not south) and is wondrously preserved. The episode, with the interview between Saul and Samuel, and with its interesting attitude to Saul and to the prophets, was evidently unknown to the writer of xv. 35. Other and more profound differences relating to the rise of the monarchy (§ 2), the career of Saul (§ 3) and David's conquest of Jerusalem (§ 4) represent irreconcilable historical background.

The first part of the book is concerned with Samuel and Saul. The introductory account (i.-iv. Ia) of the birth, dedication and calling of the young prophet Samuel is a valuable 2 mstitw picture of religious life at the sanctuary at Shiloh. tion of It is connected by the prophecy of the punishment U'°"10U of the house of Eli (iii. II sqq.) with the defeat of the why Israelites by the Philistines at Ebenezer near Aphek, the loss of the ark (iv. 1b-22), and its subsequent fortunes (v.-vii. 1). A Philistine oppression of twenty years ends when Samuel, here the recognized “ judge ” of Israel, gains a great victory at Ebenezer near Mizpah (vii.). But the overthrow of the Philistines is also ascribed to Saul (xiv.), there is no room for both in the history of the prophet (see vii. 14), and it is now generally recognized that two conflicting representations have been combined. In one (a) Samuel, after his victory, continues to rule peacefully as a theocratic judge over the Israelites, the people demand a king, and although their request is viewed as hostile to the worship of Yahweh the tribes are summoned at Mizpah and the sacred lot falls upon Saul of Benjamin (vii. viii. x. 17-27). But in the other (b) the Philistines have occupied the heart of the land, the Israelites are thoroughly disorganized, and their miserable condition moves Yahweh to send as a deliverer the otherwise unknown Saul, who is anointed by Samuel, a-seer of local renown (ix. 1-x. 16, xiii. xiv.). The conclusion of the former is found in Samuel's farewell address (xii.) and the entire representation of Samuel's position, Saul's rise, and the characteristic attitude towards the monarchy (viii. 7, x. 19, xii. 12, cf. Deut. xvii. 14-20, Judg. viii. 22 seq., Hos. viii. 4, xiii. II), separate it sharply from the relatively fragmentary narrative in (b); see further SAMUEL. The former, now predominating, account (a) is that of the Deuteronomic school, and, although a running narrative, appears on closer inspection to be based upon earlier sources of different origin. The account of Eli, Shiloh and the ark (i.-iii.) is the natural prelude to iv.-vii. 1, where, however, we lose sight of Samuel and the prophecy. The punishment of Eli and his sons (iv.) becomes a passing interest, and the fate of the ark is by no means so central an idea as its wonder-working in the Philistine territory. Moreover, the sequel of the defeat in iv. is not stated, although other allusions to the fall of Shiloh (Jer. vii. 12-15, xxvi. 6, 9, Ps. lxxviii. 60 sqq.), and the subsequent reappearance of the priestly family at Nob (xxi. seq.) have led most scholars to the conclusion that a fuller account of the events must have been extant. A narrative of Eli and the priesthood of Shiloh has probably been used to form an introduction to Samuel's victory (vii.), and it has been supplemented partly by the account of the early life of the future prophet and judge (note the present abrupt introduction of Eli in i. 3) and partly by narratives of the history of the ark (v. seq.). That this section was handled at a relatively late period is clear not only from the presence of the Deuteronomic prophecy in ii. 27-36 (see § 6), but also from the insertion of Hannah's psalm (ii. 1-ro)-the prototype of the “ Magnificat ”-a postexilic passage, “ probably composed in celebration of some national success ” (Driver), the present suitability of which rests upon the interpretation placed on verse 5. For the more fragmentary account of Saul's rise (ix. 1-X. 16, xiii. 2-7a, 15b-23, xiv. 1-47), see above, page 194. Chapter xi., where he leads Israel and Judah to the rescue of their kinsmen of Jabesh-Gilead, rebuilding the temple, Hag. i.; or for not attending the feast of Tabernacles, Zech. xiv. 16-19).